Leap Blog Day: Please Welcome Mary from Just Inappropriate



Some of you already know her and some might not, but I’m thrilled to be handing over my blog to Mary today, who made my day when she agreed to be my Leap Blog Day guest blogger. I asked her with fingers crossed, but assumed that she'd turn me down in favor of hanging at a cooler blogger's place. I expected the bloggity version of "Sorry, I've got to wash my hair," but instead, she said yes.

Welcome to the nerdy side of town, Mary. And thank you.

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Adrian is seven years old and has started asking a lot of questions.





















"Why don't you retire?"

"Hey, isn't that the bank you got fired from?"

"How much did I cost?"

"I know Daddy's work sells expensive cars, so where's all that money going?"

"How come sometimes you lick Daddy's tongue?"

"What does obnoxious mean?"

"Why do I get embarrassed when you say sexy?"

"What's gay?"


I had to tread lightly on this one. I suppose I had dreaded this one for a long time because I was worried about how I would handle it. I wanted to be open and awesome mom about it, but I also wanted him to not ask any logistical questions about penises and butts and how that all kinda goes together. I remember trying to explain why our puppy was humping us, and that led to multiple nightmares about the phrase I'd coined, "hugging you with his penis". I'm the worst sex-talking mom ever. I tried to keep this one as simple as I could.


Mary: Well. You know how most of the time boys like girls and girls like boys. Well, sometimes boys like boys and girls like girls. AND THAT'S OKAY. (I think I thought if I said this enough, my son would suddenly become a lifetime democrat and start hugging all the gays and lesbians while high-fiving mentally handicapped kids and giving money to strangers on welfare )

Adrian: That's okay. Like, Ellis likes you and I like Daddy.

Mary: No, it's a different kind of like. It's the way I like Daddy and Nana and Papa like each other. They can love each other and not in a "wud up buddy" kind of way. Like, more like a "I want to kiss you" kind of way. AND THAT'S OKAY.

Adrian: Wow, that's weird. So they hold hands and stuff? Is it kind of like being mentally-retarded so we have to be nice to them?

Mary: Uhhhh. No. It's nothing like being mentally-retarded. But yes you have to be nice to them because there are a lot of people that are mean to them. They are born that way and the most important thing is to accept anyone the way they are.

Adrian thinks about this for a moment.

Adrian: I think I get it. It's kind of like the devil.

Mary: (wishes Christian son didn't ALWAYS play the Jesus card)

Mary: How so?

Adrian: Like, we know it's there, but we'll probably never see it. Like, I probably won't ever actually see the devil and I won't ever see a gay person so I don't have to think about it, right?

Mary: Ehhhhhhh. No. Your Uncle Spencer is gay. AND THAT'S OKAY

Adrian:.............................

Adrian: SO HIS FRIEND THAT HAD THE PUPPY...WAS ..WAS....WAS...WAS....THAT HIS GIRLFRIEND???!!?!?!

Mary: That was his boyfriend. But yes, you kinda get it. They broke up, though. Now he has a new boyfriend that you'll probably meet this weekend.

Adrian: Oh my gosh. Do they kiss each other?

Mary: Yes. AND THAT'S OKAY.

Adrian: ON THE MOUTH?!?!?!

Mary: Yes. They do everything me and your Daddy do.

Adrian: Ohhhh. Ohhhhh my gosh. I'm sorry. I. It's just. I had no idea. I'm uh new to this, you know. I'm sorry. I'm not laughing. I mean, I am kind of. But, I just didn't know. Oh my gosh.

Mary: I want you to understand how important it is that you don't treat Spencer any differently. He's still the same person, still your Uncle. It's really important that you treat him the same, and that you NEVER use the term "gay" to say something mean about somebody.


We met Spencer's new guy that weekend and Adrian ran up to him and shook his hand so vigorously while smiling big and eagerly. It was as though he was screaming at them:

I'M TOTALLY COOL WITH ANYONE AND EVERYONE BEING GAY!

That weekend I was putting him to bed. My next door neighbor and her boyfriend were going to come out to dinner with us and she came over a little early to have a glass of wine while we waited for the babysitter and for our car-business guys to get off work.

Adrian saw Amy and I told him to tell her goodnight. Then I took him to his room to tuck him in and be a perfect sitcom parent.



Adrian:
Why is Amy here? Is she babysitting me?

Mary: No, Heather is babysitting you. She's just here to see me. She's coming out with me and Daddy tonight.

Adrian: ON YOUR DATE?!

Mary: Yes. On our date. No more questions, it's time for bed.

Adrian: Mom, wait.

Mary: Adrian, no more talking. Go to sleep.

Adrian: It's okay that you're gay. I love you.



He thought I was going on a date with another girl and that I was now gay. And he wanted me to know that he loves me anyway AND THAT'S OKAY.




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Early in January, a few rock-star bloggers came up with a great idea. They organized an event for bloggity folks, encouraging them to invite another blogger to do a guest post and to be open to the idea of guest blogging, if asked. Leap Blog Day was well received and last time I looked, forty-one people had signed up. Cool, right?

Oh, and if you're looking for me today, I'm guest blogging over at cdnkaro's place. Stop by and say hello, won't you?

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You Found Me How?! January and February Combo-Platter Edition



I could tell you that I was super-busy in the early part of February and didn’t have time to post my You Found Me How?! blog, but that’d be a big fat lie. I could say that I was painting a mural in the town square or fielding calls from publishers or training for a marathon, but if I’m going to make up a cool story about what kept me from posting, I’d rather it had something to do with Johnny Depp and a big can of whipped cream. Sadly, I don’t remember what I was doing, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t anything dazzling. And I know it wasn’t Johnny Depp.


Anyway, these are the some of the phrases that people typed into search engines over the past few months to land themselves at my blog. I'm always a little baffled at some of what comes up.






rabid dog wanted: Um, no. No rabid dog wanted here. Half the time, I barely want the super-cute, fluffy, decidedly not-rabid dog I already have. By the way, the time I’m speaking of pretty much covers said dog’s waking hours.

birthday cake man with no hair: I’ve got nothing.

gilligan with glasses: I can totally see this one.

bakery in heaven: I would certainly hope so.

improving with age: Why thank you!

kids naked in snow: As I explained to DCFS, they weren’t naked. They were wearing swimsuits in the snow. And nice warm boots.

i want to sell joan rivers on ebay: Who doesn’t?

dragon with balls: Is there any other kind?

patty millionaire: That’s what I’ll be changing my name to after that Lucky Lotto thing comes through. I think it’s important to be discreet.

i accidentally got my sister pregnant: I categorically deny this.

baby jail: Maybe, but that’s not a term I use when interviewing potential clients.

joy marijuana: Another phrase I avoid during interviews.

the wire clock code: I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you.


That’s all I’ve got, folks. Let’s do this again a month from now. Unless Johnny Depp calls, of course, because then all bets are off.



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Image courtesy of Linda, who was kind enough to go to her fridge and take a picture of her whipped cream so that I could use it here. Thank you!

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Jane's Tale: A Wrap-Up Post




Last week, the GBEers took on a unique topic and just as I’d expected, they came through with some really fun and widely varied stories. Not everyone who participates in the GBE does so at its main headquarters on Facebook, though, so I thought I’d do a quickie wrap up post here with links to this week’s entries.

Let me just say that you guys rock. The GBE is full of heart and spirit, and I love you all bunches.


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Okie-dokie, when asked to write Jane’s Tale, here’s what the fabulous GBEers came up with:


Jane Fishing

Jane's Story: What Really Happened that Night

The Real Story Behind Jane’s Scar

Jane’s Hidden Identity

What Happened to Jane

Warrior Woman

The Perils of the Road

GI Jane Gets Her First Battle Scar

How Jane’s Stitches Came About

Flying High

Jane’s Tale: Anime Version

Jane’s 27 Stitches

”Jane Doe” Story: Wait a minute, nothing ordinary about this one!

A Sordid Tale Lacerations, Hungarian Hip-Hop Performers and An Icy Petting Zoo

Toddler Take-Down

Jane’s Story

You Dirty Rat

A Reminder to Remain Vigilante

Jane’s Tale

Jane’s Tale

Jane’s Tale or A Tale Cut Off

A Jumble of Many Themes or Blogger’s Choice

The Amazing Story of Heroic Jane and The Secret Celebrity Chupacabra

The Almost True Tale of Jane’s Scar

Jane’s Scar – An Almost Funny Story


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GBE2 welcomes new members! If you’d like to blog with us, just clickety-click and request membership. I offer one very general writing prompt each week, then members blog on it in any way they see fit and drop the URL to their post as a comment in the weekly topic thread. GBEers can blog, read, and comment as often (or as infrequently) as they want.
NO pressure, EVER.

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GBE 2: Blog On -- Week #41: “Simplicity”



GBE 2: Blog On -- Week #41: “Simplicity”















As always, the guidelines are simple. Blog on this week’s prompt in any way you see fit. Once you’ve posted to wherever you normally blog, drop the URL to your post into the comment section below.

REMINDER: use the URL to your entry for this week’s specific topic post, NOT to your blog’s home page!

If you haven’t already done so, you are welcome to join GBE 2 at its main headquarters over on Facebook (We have over 220 active members and we’re still growing!). Just visit GBE 2’s Facebook page and request to join the group. Everyone is welcome, so tell your friends! :O)

Oh, and several people have asked what GBE stands for. It’s Group Blogging Experience. The original GBE was started over at MySpace by a fabulous woman named Alicia. She headed up the group for close to two years before deciding that she’d run her course with it, so she stepped away.

Last year, Alicia and I, along with a few others who’d been a part of that original group, were talking on Alicia’s Facebook wall about how wonderful that experience had been and before I could stop myself, I announced that I was going to start a blogging group in the same fashion as the GBE. With Alicia’s blessing, I swiped the name, added the 2, and the rest is history.

For those of you who use Twitter, the hashtag for the group's posts is #GBE2, and we can increase readership if we all tweet early and tweet often. ;O)

That’s it! Easy-breezy-lemon-squeezy!

You have until Saturday (3-3-12) to post your blog and leave your link…

Again, this week, our prompt is: Simplicity

Ready. Set. Blog!

Happy blogging!
Beth


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Toddler Take-Down



I hated to make the call, but I knew I had to. She picked up on the first ring and sounded a little sleepy.

“Jane?” I asked, like someone else might be answering her phone. “Did I wake you?”

“What time is it?” she said, and then added, “No, you didn’t wake me. Just had my nose in a book. I feel like I’ve been sitting in this airport forever.”


“It’s just past six here. Hey, I’ve got a little problem. The sub I had scheduled for tomorrow just called. Her daughter has some sort of cootie and she won’t be able to cover for me, so I’m going to have to work. We can still go out after, but the hanging out all day thing is a no-go. I’m really sorry. I feel like a jackass, but I’ve called everyone I know, and nada.”

“I could just hang with you at the daycare,” she offered. “You know, sing songs, read books, dance a little. I do a mean hokey-pokey.”

I laughed. “You’d be more than welcome, but I’m sure there are more entertaining ways for you to spend your first day here. We’re fifteen minutes from downtown, with all its museums, shopping, and deep dish pizza. I’ve got stinky diapers and fish sticks. It’s no contest, really.”

“You’re right, it’s no contest. I’ll take the hokey-pokey and fish sticks, but I’ll pass on the diapers. Hey, you’re not trying to get out of karaoke, are you? Because we had a deal.”

I laughed again. Jane was being a really good sport. “Nope. You, me, karaoke, Friday night. I’m gonna need a drink or four, but I’m in. And we do have a deal, so I’d better not click on your Facebook page and find a video of my drunken rendition of, hey, what are we going to sing?”

She chuckled. “We’ll figure it out. You’ve really never sung karaoke before? Ever? Amazing. Well, nothing, and I mean nothing, will get you out of it this time. Oh hey, I’ve gotta go. It’s time to board. I’ll see you soon.”

“We’ll be there!” I answered. I was pumped. In just a couple hours, I’d be meeting Jane. I’d felt an immediate connection to her the first time I visited her blog, and now she was coming to visit! I tried not to think about the public singing thing I’d foolishly agreed to. Don’t get me wrong, I like to sing. In the car or in my house. With a gaggle of little kids, even, but not in front of adults with discerning ears. Not since high school chorus, anyway, but Jane is very convincing. Okay, it was an ultimatum, and I caved.

A few hours after the call ended, my hubby pulled up along the curb. As he hoisted Jane’s giant suitcase into the trunk, he looked at me, groaned, and said, “One more thing you two have in common. You pack everything you own to go away for a weekend.”

Jane shrugged and looked a little sheepish, but I raised my eyebrows and gave her the look that says don’t worry, he’s just messin’ with you. By the time we got to the house, Jane seemed comfortable and I think all three of us felt as though we’d known each other forever. We hung out for a while, but I broke up the party saying that I’d be knee deep in kids in only a matter of hours, so we called it a night.

It turns out that Jane is a natural with kids. They swarmed her all morning and elbowed one another aside to get a coveted spot on her lap during story time and to hold one of her hands as they boogied during our daily dance party. Oh, and Jane wasn’t kidding—she really does do a mean hokey-pokey. She had the kids giggling like crazy when she sang out, “Put your tushies in, put your tushies out, put your tushies in and shake ‘em all about!”

One little guy was especially fond of Jane, and it was clear that she had a soft spot for him, too. Not quite two, Little Man has a halo of soft blonde ringlets and huge blue eyes. I’m not the only one who’s ever told his mom that someday some woman is going to fall in love with those eyes. To be honest, I think a bunch already have.

As I brought out the lunch trays, Little Man held onto Jane’s pant leg and smiled up at her. “Miss Jane help me?” he asked in his sweetest voice.

Jane sat beside Little Man and guided him as he attempted to spike bits of chicken with his fork and scoop applesauce onto his spoon. Usually a notoriously picky eater, Little Man gobbled up the items on his tray with gusto, grinning at Jane and flashing his gorgeous peepers her way. I looked over and shook my head. “If you can convince that one to eat some of those green beans,” I told her, “I’ll be begging you to move here and be my partner.”

Jane steered Little Man’s hand toward the small pile of beans and much to my surprise, he pushed his fork onto the mound and pulled one up. On a normal day, the sight of anything green on his tray instantly transforms him from a cherub to a wild, howling beast, his face ruddy with indignation, but there he was, with a green bean headed right toward his mouth, and he was unfazed.

Then it touched his tongue.

Little Man screamed and grabbed the bean from his mouth. He threw it down and then threw himself back, thrashing and wailing as Jane reached for him and tried to calm him. “It’s okay, buddy,” she said, leaning forward to right the tray that he’d toppled in his fit of green-bean-induced anger. My guess is that Little Man thought Jane was reaching for another green bean, but it all happened so quickly that I can’t be sure. The only thing that was clear was that a tine of a Mickey Mouse toddler fork cut a path down Jane’s left cheek, and the wound was bleeding rather badly.

Jane pressed a towel onto her face, but the bleeding continued. This was beyond what the items in my first aid kit could handle, so I called my hubby and asked if he could run her up to the ER. He did, and by the time they returned a few hours later, Little Man had gone home for the day and Jane had 27 stitches on the side of her face.

I felt awful. She smiled. And a few hours and a few drinks after that, she dragged me up on a stage to sing karaoke with her. I’d objected to going at first, but she reminded me of our deal and then pointed up and down her left cheek as a reminder of what she’d been through. How could I say no?

A few days later, Jane was back at home, being tended by her flock of admirers, and I was at my computer, catching up on blogs. I clicked to see what the wisest of the wise had to say about her weekend and read some preposterous story about konking out on a wineglass. What? There were a bunch of sippee cups in the general vicinity of her cheek (and one wicked Mickey utensil), but a wineglass? Um, no. I guess I can’t blame her for recreating the event, though. Really, would you want to tell the world that you’d been taken down by a twenty pound cherub faced child who looked as though he was made from spun sugar, feathers, and pixie dust? Nah, I wouldn’t either.


*** The above photographic evidence image is the only supporting documentation I can provide. There are no drunken-karaoke videos. Right, Jane? ***


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Written for this week’s GBE topic, “Write Jane's Tale.” If you’d like to blog with us, just week’s clickety-click. All are welcome!

Details of this week's assignment can be found right here.

Oh, and FACEinHOLE is a cool site where you can upload your own pics into preset scenes, putting you in all sorts of places you've never been, doing all sorts of things you've never done. Say, singing karaoke with a really cool friend. ;O)

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GBE 2: Blog On -- Week #40: “Write Jane’s Tale”



GBE 2: Blog On -- Week #40: “Write Jane’s Tale”















Most weeks, I offer a word or photo prompt, but this time around, we’re going to do a little something different. Last week, one of our members ended up in the emergency room and when she left, she had 27 stitches on her cheek. Ouch, right?

Here’s the thing. The truth of what happened isn’t the most exciting of stories. After a pretty normal day of housey stuff and a run to the grocery store, Jane, who hadn’t eaten a thing thus far the whole day, sat at her computer with some cheese, crackers, and a glass of wine. It was about 6 p.m. One minute she was happily munching and emailing and the next, she woke to the sound of breaking glass. Broken wine glass still in hand, Jane noticed blood trickling down her chest, which turned out to be from an unfortunate wineglass-meets-face moment in time.

A friend trekked Jane to the ER, where they ran a bunch of tests, stitched her up (27 stitches!!!), and sent her home. She’s fine. The incident has been chalked up to dehydration (drink your water, folks…), exhaustion (and get some rest), and the tail end of a respiratory infection.

Since Jane is doing just dandy and has a fabulous sense of humor about, well, about pretty much everything, we GBEers are going to help her out a little. The woman is going to have a scar. A twenty-seven-stitch scar. On her cheek. People will undoubtedly ask about it from time to time. We don’t want her to have to stick with the dehydration/exhaustion/wine glass/computer story, do we?

Of course not.

So here’s where we come in. We need to give Jane a better story. A tantalizing tale that she can tell when the askers ask. Bar fight, crazy coworker, or troubled lover? Sure! Unfortunate incident at the vet’s office? Maybe. Alien encounter? Huh, could be. You get the idea. Run with it. Have fun with it. Write Jane’s Tale.



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As always, the guidelines are simple. Blog on this week’s prompt in any way you see fit. Once you’ve posted to wherever you normally blog, drop the URL to your post into the comment section below.

REMINDER: use the URL to your entry for this week’s specific topic post, NOT to your blog’s home page!

If you haven’t already done so, you are welcome to join GBE 2 at its main headquarters over on Facebook (We have over 220 active members and we’re still growing!). Just visit GBE 2’s Facebook page and request to join the group. Everyone is welcome, so tell your friends! :O)

Oh, and several people have asked what GBE stands for. It’s Group Blogging Experience. The original GBE was started over at MySpace by a fabulous woman named Alicia. She headed up the group for close to two years before deciding that she’d run her course with it, so she stepped away.

Last year, Alicia and I, along with a few others who’d been a part of that original group, were talking on Alicia’s Facebook wall about how wonderful that experience had been and before I could stop myself, I announced that I was going to start a blogging group in the same fashion as the GBE. With Alicia’s blessing, I swiped the name, added the 2, and the rest is history.

For those of you who use Twitter, the hashtag for the group's posts is #GBE2, and we can increase readership if we all tweet early and tweet often. ;O)

That’s it! Easy-breezy-lemon-squeezy!

You have until Saturday (2-25-12) to post your blog and leave your link…

Again, this week, our prompt is: Write Jane’s Tale

Ready. Set. Blog!

Happy blogging!
Beth


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If you want to read about the actual happening from Jane herself, just clickety-click right here.

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Done-Diddily-Done



I’ve never been a screw-up, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t screwed up. I have, plenty of times. Yet despite my multiple visits to the less-than-stellar-choice counter, I’m not sure that I’d want to go back and choose better, even if I were given the chance for a do-over.

Does that seem crazy to you? I suppose it might be.




Without getting all It’s a Wonderful Life, the fact is that I’m right where I am largely because of a series of choices that I’ve made thus far—the good ones, the great ones, and the ones that make me wonder, in retrospect, if my head was nailed on straight. My right here is pretty sweet. Really sweet, actually. So I’ll keep it, all of it, no going back to rewrite the less attractive parts.

Instead, I’ll take my do-overs in the form of memories. I’ll revisit them now and then, enjoy the reruns, and then file them back away for the times when I might want to give them another look. Not too often because lounging in the said-and-done means not paying attention to right-this-minute, but once in a while is okay. Oh, and only the good reruns. After all, why take yesterday’s garbage and toss it all over today’s nice clean floor?




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Written for this week’s GBE topic, “Do-Over.” If you’d like to blog with us, just clickety-click. All are welcome!

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GBE 2: Blog On -- Week #39: “Do-Over”




GBE 2: Blog On -- Week #39: “Do-Over”















As always, the guidelines are simple. Blog on this week’s prompt in any way you see fit. Once you’ve posted to wherever you normally blog, drop the URL to your post into the comment section below.

REMINDER: use the URL to your entry for this week’s specific topic post, NOT to your blog’s home page!

If you haven’t already done so, you are welcome to join GBE 2 at its main headquarters over on Facebook (We have over 220 active members and we’re still growing!). Just visit GBE 2’s Facebook page and request to join the group. Everyone is welcome, so tell your friends! :O)

Oh, and several people have asked what GBE stands for. It’s Group Blogging Experience. The original GBE was started over at MySpace by a fabulous woman named Alicia. She headed up the group for close to two years before deciding that she’d run her course with it, so she stepped away.

Last year, Alicia and I, along with a few others who’d been a part of that original group, were talking on Alicia’s Facebook wall about how wonderful that experience had been and before I could stop myself, I announced that I was going to start a blogging group in the same fashion as the GBE. With Alicia’s blessing, I swiped the name, added the 2, and the rest is history.

For those of you who use Twitter, the hashtag for the group's posts is #GBE2, and we can increase readership if we all tweet early and tweet often. ;O)

That’s it! Easy-breezy-lemon-squeezy!

You have until Saturday (2-18-12) to post your blog and leave your link…

Again, this week, our prompt is: Do-Over

Ready. Set. Blog!

Happy blogging!
Beth



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Opportunity is Knocking, ReDemoPubliCratCans



If there’s one subject that seems to be a constant source of upset for people, it’s politics. Rightie or leftie, it hardly matters—political debates tend to get the hackles up.

I’ve said it before, but it’s still an accurate description of my views: My feet are planted firmly in the middle, but I lean way left. To be honest, I'm a little freaked out by anyone teetering on either far edge because that’s where the water-coolers for the crazies are usually located.

I’m not here to spark debates over which guy is best for the job and which one has his head lodged firmly up his hiney. Which guy is a saint and which is the devil’s sous chef. We’re all going to think what we think anyway, so what’s the point? I’m not even here to plead with the Facebook Political Posters to put their feet up, take their hands off their keyboards, and have a glass of wine—though I’d be tempted to buy a round for anyone who’d agree to back it the hell up and post funny pictures of their kids instead.

What I would like to address is why the folks we send to the cushy congressional offices don’t see what is painfully obvious: They have been given a golden opportunity to become American legends. History book filler of the finest variety. Yet instead of grabbing that sweet shit up and posing for heroic looking portraits, they bicker like warring neighbors determined to get the other to cut his grass more often or trim the branches of the old oak tree that hangs a few inches over his property line.

Jackwagons of the highest degree.

To be frank, I don’t really care if they do their jobs because they love this country and want to guide it out of the muck and mire. I’m used to our elected officials looking out for their own asses and spending their time on Capitol Hill feathering their personal nests. It’s cool. Do what you gotta do, folks, but there’s something you’re missing, and it’s HUGE.


To the members of Congress:

You are in a very unique position and the stuff you do for the next few years will likely define how you are remembered. You can draw your arms wide and scoop up piles of cash like cigar smoking winners of big poker pots. You can walk the same hallways as your peers and behave like high school bullies, shove the nerdy guys into their lockers and then laugh your asses off and slap your buddies on the back. You can get fat and clog your arteries on my dollar, though I don’t have many to spare. I get it. We sent you there and now you can pretty much do whatever you want. That’s cool.

What I don’t get is why you want what you seem to want.

Of course you plan to head back to your hometown with pocketsful of money. Hell, I wouldn’t mind a little scratch myself. I’d like enough to buy a sweet little farmhouse on a dozen acres. Red barn, black & white cow, a few rows of fruit trees and a tidy little garden. Enough in the bank to go out to dinner once in a while, buy a new shirt when I wear out the elbows on the one I’ve got on, take road trips to visit the kids and the grands as they make their way in the world, and see retirement as a pre-death possibility. That’s what I want. You might crave something more highbrow. Maybe a winding driveway, golf membership, trips to Europe, lots of bling, and enough cash to carry several generations of your progeny comfortably without resorting to becoming part of the working class. That’s cool. I think you should have it. Go after your dreams, I say.

Here’s the thing. You can have all that stuff. Plus. Plus the admiration of your constituents and a lock-down on forever status as one of the good guys. C’mon, you know you want it. Do what needs to be done and you can strut, rooster style, through the talk show circuit, bed some hotties, sign huge book deals, and spread your arms wide to gather funds from speaking engagements that’ll make the stuff you’re getting now seem like such small change that if you walked past it on the sidewalk, you might not bother to lean over and pick it up.

Here’s what you do:

Gather the whole bunch of you together. Order in some food and put the coffee on. Leave your party loyalties at the door. Wear jeans and tee shirts and tell the press to leave you the hell alone. Bar the door.

Okay, now pull out the budget. Divvy it up into chunks and pass them around. Give everyone a highlighter and two pens—one red and one black. Forget any promises you made—assumed or spoken—to companies or people outside those doors. Don’t worry about the cash you might lose in the short term. Keep your eye on the prize—remember, big ass houses, book deals, speaking engagements, historical recognition, horny supermodels. All of that can be yours.

Get moving and slash the fiscal flub. Feed the hungry and make sure the elderly don’t have to choose between lunch and Lipitor. Build shit. Create jobs. See to it that every kid can get educated, even the ones who live on the wrong side of the tracks. Stop killing people in other countries for sport and spite. Rearrange how the funds are allocated until everything balances. Pretend that your mother is looking over your shoulder and make her proud.

Laugh together. Show each other pictures of your kids. Put on some music. Get up and stretch. Order more food.

Then, when you’ve got it all pretty, open the doors and let the folks with press passes shoot questions at you. Smile. Hand them the revised budget, the new peace plan, and the documents detailing the overhauled system. Don’t even try to wipe the grins off your faces.

You know how when soldiers walk through airports, people cheer and it makes the news? That could be you guys. Only with a shitload of money and horny supermodels.




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Please don't steal the work of photographers and graphic artists to provide images for your blog! Photo courtesy of Morgue File, which offers lots of wonderful, free images for public usage.

Written for this week’s GBE topic, “Upset.” If you’d like to blog with us, just clickety-click. All are welcome!

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Naked, Wet, and Soapy



Disclaimer:
I think it’s only fair that I tell you right up front that this post is not going to live up to its title. If naked, wet, and soapy were the words that enticed you to clickety-click, you’re going to be sorely disappointed. There’s a naked, wet, soapy moment, but it’s hardly worth the wait. So sorry if you got the wrong idea.

Pervert.


How do you feel about your cable company? Yeah, same here. They’re better than they used to be, I’ll give them that, but they’re still 947 steps from good. They hire friendly people now (So does the DMV! Maybe the Mayans were onto something.). That’s fairly new. A few years back, if you called Comcast, the rep was completely comfortable to tell you to eff off. “Our next available appointment is three weeks from Thursday, between the hours of 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. You want it or not?”

These days, they give a two-hour window, not thirteen, and unless you need a Saturday (which I always do), they can have a tech at your door within 48 hours. Not bad.

Yet still, they suck.

We recently decided to cut the cable package back to not much more than what you would have gotten a few years ago if you perched a set of rabbit ears or stretched a metal coat hanger atop your set (yes, I remember those, and yes, I know that makes me unspeakably old). The cutback was, to my utter astonishment, my hubby’s idea. The man who, if the house were to burst into flames, might waver for a second were he forced to decide to save either me or the TV, said we should give up the eleventy-hundred channels of nothing good to watch. “Bare bones the thing,” he said, after seeing the bill.

So I did. I called, waited on hold while they repeatedly reminded me that they appreciated my patience, and after sixteen minutes, got a live person. Jackie cheerfully promised to help me choose the package that was right for my family. I told her I wanted the Cheapskate TV Package with a side of Supersonic-Internet. She seemed doubtful that the Cheapskate Package was the best choice. “You’ll lose almost all of your channels,” she said in a voice that told me she worked on some sort of mega-cable-package selling incentive pay plan.

“I don’t watch much TV,” I said. “And the few things I do watch are on the regular networks. The Cheapskate Package is fine.”

Jackie’s voice grew tense. “But your family might miss all those channels. There’s a lot of wonderful programming for kids.”

“My youngest is 28 and he hasn’t lived at home in nine years. It’s just my husband and me now.”

“Does your husband enjoy the extra channels? Discovery? ESPN? The Speed Channel?”

“He adores them all. We’d like the Cheapskate Package, please.”

Jackie sighed and set us up. The tech guy was to come out on Saturday morning between eight and ten. He’d take away the DVR and replace it with a cheapie digital receiver. Jackie said they’d call the night before to remind me.

I knew I’d better not miss that call.

The last time the Comcast folks were scheduled to visit my house, I was strolling through Hobby Lobby when the call came. I dug my phone out of my purse just as it stopped ringing and a few seconds later, I listened to the voice message. Seems that if you miss their call, Comcast cancels your appointment. I called back immediately and was offered a reschedule date three weeks out.

Jackwagons.

Anyway, Friday night, I kept my phone at my side like I was waiting for a call from the Organ Donor Center and when it rang, I was ready. They made not one, but three confirmation calls that night, but I got ‘em all. On the last one, they said that the tech would call again about twenty minutes before his arrival the following morning and reminded me of our scheduled time.

At 7 a.m. I was in the shower (On a Saturday morning! Crazy shit, that is.) when I heard it. Say Hey (My ringtone. Don't judge.) blasted from the bedroom. Dammit, dammit, dammit. I hoped the hubs would answer it, but I knew that was just magical thinking. I got a new phone some months back and because the procedure for answering it (Just slide your finger downward on the screen, honey.) is slightly different from his phone, he doesn’t touch it. The man is more than a little techno-challenged, but that’s another blog for another day.

By the time I flew down the hall, naked, wet, and soapy (see, I told you you’d be disappointed), the damn thing stopped ringing. I highlighted the number and hit send. I took the phone back to the bathroom so I could drip on the mat, rather than the hardwood floor, and waited through the patience-thanking spiel while I wondered just how much water could get on my fancy, overpriced phone that I’d declined the insurance on before it melted like the Wicked Witch of the West. Finally, Monica picked up.

I explained the situation and Monica assured me that unlike the evening before call (or you know, calls), the morning "We're on our way!" call would be attempted twice before an appointment was cancelled. She asked if I was interested in hearing their available-only-right-this-very-minute specials and I declined, reminding her that I’d hopped out of the shower to take the call that came a good forty minutes before the earliest it was supposed to and that I was still naked, wet and soapy, and now cold, as well. She apologized, but went on to quickly list a few of their top deals. And then, as she’d certainly been trained to do, Monica asked if I’d be willing to take a short survey about my opinions about Comcast and her handling of the call. I exhaled and then in my calmest, freezing, naked, wet, soapy voice, told Monica that I was pretty sure that she didn’t want me taking that survey.



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Please don't steal the work of photographers and graphic artists to provide pictures for your blog! Photo courtesy of Morgue File, which offers lots of wonderful, free images for public usage.

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Sweet as Sugar, Yet Calorie-Free!



This has been a pretty sweet week, which reminded me that two of my favorite bloggers, Paula and Pam, Pirate Extraordinaire recently presented me with the 'Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award.'

For this award, I have to tell you seven things you might not already know about me. Are there seven things you don’t already know about me? I kinda doubt it, but here goes:







  1. There are things I truly do find irresistibly sweet: Hugs from my grandkids, time with my grown kids, snuggling up with the hubs, and corny, predictable movies that leave you feeling good about life. There are few edibles sweets that I find hard to resist, as well. ;O)
  2. I’ve either been spreading myself too thin lately or am developing a late-bloomer case of ADD, because I’ve been ridiculously easily distracted.
  3. We’ve been playing the “when do you think the baby will be born” game in my family. I think she’ll be arriving next Sunday and the hubs says she’s going to be a Valentine’s Day baby. Everyone has a guess, but one is certain—we’re all really excited and can’t wait to meet her.
  4. As the house-hunt continues, we’ve begun to assess what we might want to get rid of before we move. My vote is for almost everything.
  5. My pedometer tells me that I’m far lazier on the weekends than I am during the week. Not exactly big news.
  6. I know it annoys the daylights out of some people, but I have to say that I’ve been watching a passive-aggressive sideshow and overall, find it pretty amusing.
  7. Today, the hubs cleaned the upstairs of the house, put a roast in the oven, and then drew me a bubble-bath, handed me a book, and pointed me toward the bathroom. He’s normally a nice guy, but that’s over the top, even for him.


Now I get to pass this award on to 10 other bloggers. Here are my choices:

Periphery
Linda says…
The M Half of the M –n- J Show
My Wandering Mind
Sylvie Says…
PurrPause
Simply Frances
The Frizzy Hooker
Jane in her Infinite Wisdom
Dances with Vodka

I’m not sure who amongst you might have already been declared irresistibly sweet, but if so, I now declare you doubly sweet!


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GBE 2: Blog On -- Week #38: “Upset”



GBE 2: Blog On -- Week #38: “Upset”















As always, the guidelines are simple. Blog on this week’s prompt in any way you see fit. Once you’ve posted to wherever you normally blog, drop the URL to your post into the comment section below.

REMINDER: use the URL to your entry for this week’s specific topic post, NOT to your blog’s home page!

If you haven’t already done so, you are welcome to join GBE 2 at its main headquarters over on Facebook (We have over 220 active members and we’re still growing!). Just visit GBE 2’s Facebook page and request to join the group. Everyone is welcome, so tell your friends! :O)

Oh, and several people have asked what GBE stands for. It’s Group Blogging Experience. The original GBE was started over at MySpace by a fabulous woman named Alicia. She headed up the group for close to two years before deciding that she’d run her course with it, so she stepped away.

Last year, Alicia and I, along with a few others who’d been a part of that original group, were talking on Alicia’s Facebook wall about how wonderful that experience had been and before I could stop myself, I announced that I was going to start a blogging group in the same fashion as the GBE. With Alicia’s blessing, I swiped the name, added the 2, and the rest is history.

For those of you who use Twitter, the hashtag for the group's posts is #GBE2, and we can increase readership if we all tweet early and tweet often. ;O)

That’s it! Easy-breezy-lemon-squeezy!

You have until Saturday (2-11-12) to post your blog and leave your link…

Again, this week, our prompt is: Upset

Ready. Set. Blog!

Happy blogging!
Beth


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Meet the Bloggers: Strong Is the New Skinny - the Adventures of Merty



What do you want? No really, close your eyes and visualize it—your dearest wish, the one that lives deep within you. Okay, now what would it take for you to have it? Does it feel out of reach? Impossible, even?

I’m betting that what you want most isn’t impossible and I’m going to go a step further and say that Maria agrees with me. We all crave something, the goal we want to achieve, but have told ourselves we’ll never reach. We say things like I’d give my right arm for (fill in the blank), but usually, we aren’t willing to give anything for it. We want it, but we want it easy and we want it now.



Few things just show up at our doorsteps, wrapped in shiny paper and topped with bows. Typically, if we want something, we have to work for it. My hubby, classy fellow that he is, has been known to say, “Wish in one hand, sh*t in the other, and see which fills up first.”

Yeah, I know, but really, he’s a great guy. ;O)

Maria would likely share his view, though I guarantee she’d phrase the sentiment more delicately. She had a wish, made it a goal, and then set out to make it a reality. Here’s what it says at the top of her blog:

The tale of a sassy Sicilian who brought herself back from the brink of busted seams on her jeans and a bionic ankle. When you spend the better part of a year on your back, you have some time to think - about who you are, what you want and what you never want again. So many changes, so many more to come - I appreciate your interest and if you can take something good from my writings, that makes me even happier.

Her profile adds this:

From size 12/14 to 20W to a 2 - from a wheelchair to an ortho boot to extreme boot camp ready - this blog is my story. I'm still working on myself, setting goals, and doing my best to help others along the way. Thank you for reading and sharing the journey.

If one of your dreams is to lose weight and get fit, Maria’s blog can provide you with both guidance and inspiration. If your dream has nothing to do with the shape of your body, Maria’s blog is still a worthwhile stop. While her path happens to be one of physical transformation, that’s only the end result. The work, the path, is largely the same, no matter what you thought about when you closed your eyes.

  • Decide what you want.
  • Assess where you are.
  • Make a plan.
  • Get your ass moving.

She’s proven and continues to prove that great things can be accomplished if desire and dedication team up. Will it be easy to achieve your dream? Probably not. If it were easy, you’d already have it. But it is possible. The question is, how bad do you want it?

Want to be impressed? Want to spark your motivation? Of course you do. Go on now, clickety-click.



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The image above was swiped from Maria’s Facebook page. She’s gorgeous, right? If you think she looks good here, you should see her in the turkey getup. ;O)

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Wordless Wednesday: Attention DCFS




Yeah, we were THOSE parents.


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